The Summer Season is Here! Understanding Beef 101

Recently I was reading in the May/ June 2012 Costco Connection that Choosing the right cut makes the perfect meal. I couldn’t agree more. Understanding the right cut of meat for your summer grilling season is essential. Fred Minnick, author of The Brand That Changed Beef: How the Certified Angus Beef Brand Became a Worldwide Icon of Quality demonstrates that selecting the right cut is of utmost importance.

This may be a review for some and first time information for others and it may seem like a lot of information. This is for anyone who has stood at the meat counter wondering what exactly you are buying and how it should be cooked.

To better understand what I am speaking about, check out this link: [http://www.costcoconnection.ca/connectioncaeng/20120506#pg38](http://www.costcoconnection.ca/connectioncaeng/20120506#pg38)


There are three grading labels; prime, choice and select. Prime is the highest quality, choice is next and lastly select. Every piece of beef is graded according to its texture, color, age and the marbling. If you do not see one of those words on the package then you are purchasing the select grade and stores generally use their own creative name to define the meat. For example a package may have a seal that says “blue ribbon beef”. The name“blue ribbon” means select. If the meat is prime or choice manufacturers are very proud of that fact and will clearly state that on the label but because select is a little lower in quality they try and hide that fact behind a nice name. Once in a while they will actually come out with it and say select.

And one final comment about grading. In our society we have grown accustomed to lean meats and many of us are revolted by the presence of fat. Don’t be shocked when you look at a prime steak compared to a choice and a select grade. The prime is loaded with fat (marbling is term used in the food industry) which represents flavor and tenderness. The select grade will appear much leaner but it also means the meat will be less tender and have less flavor. Everything’s a trade off.

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Stay tuned for more ideas/tips on how to enhance your Outdoor Living.

(This blog posting is part of a series titled: ***The Summer Season is Here***!)